Into each life, a little chaos must fall….and hard! All around you at this very moment is change and disorder. You might feel that there is balance and harmony going on in your life, but let me be the first to burst your bubble…it’s not! You have your good days, you have your bad days, and in between those days is chaos at work. That creature of disruption moving about, tipping the carts, changing the lights, casting its confusions. Chaos. What is this beast and why does it seem to be getting bigger, stronger, faster in the world around us and, for many, within us? Let’s define:
- Complete disorder and confusion.
- Behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.
I love those definitions! They sum up the animal at work. I often picture a mythical faery-like being with an evil grin, fluttering about, doing its will on unsuspecting people and things. Many religions have given chaos a persona of some demonic entity that works in the spiritual realms to ruin their prey. Loki was the Norse god of mischief constantly working to thwart mankind, as well as the gods themselves. Lucifer of the bible, the great deceiver, who started the entire downfall of mankind by creating confusion on the first humans that lived in bliss. Many different cultures label some single source for all the problems of the world. What it boils down to is the events of chaos. Altering changes that disrupt our plans, processes, procedures, policies, and presence! From the simple distraction to the fall of empires, chaos has, and always will, be the thorn in our sides!
What can we do about this? Is there any way to fool-proof our dealings in life so as not to be ruined by chaos? I think not. Back in 1785, Robert Burns characterized this chaos in his great poem, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough”, by writing “But little Mouse, you are not alone, in proving foresight may be vain. The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew, and leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy!”
So, the best laid plans…askew! Whether by divine intervention or just natural chaos, we can plan until the cows come home, but somehow, someway, chaos will often rear its ugly head! Does it happen all the time? Of course not! It finds pleasure in allowing us some of the promised joy, lulling us into a false sense of security…then, BANG! Knocks us down some notches! We get up, dust ourselves off, curse the very fact chaos exists, and try again. Oh, our humanity of persistence!
That is the one thing about chaos…though ever changing, it is the only constant that we share. At points throughout our lives, we have felt the hand of chaos on our schemes, even when they have been well planned. So, if this is a constant during our walk through the time given, then why is there such an impact of frustration, anger, and even defeat? We should know by now that at some point in our design on how we think life should go, that chaos will inevitably intervene and have its way with us. I would say this is the predictability of the unpredictable! In a future writing I will address one reason that it impacts us so harshly and why we react the way we do. (It’s called narcissism. A sometimes over inflated view of self-importance. Another time, though.)
So, in the present, we see this swarm fluttering all around our everyday, buzzing with the possible of changing our directions. It happens, and for some folks it happens more often than others. There is no pre-disposition to the ailment of chaos. It isn’t a contagion that we get by standing too close to someone afflicted (though people may argue that the fallout of one’s chaotic attack can be adverse enough to create a sense of chaos in their own life)! No matter what it is construed as, chaos exists, it affects, and it strikes anyone, anywhere, at any time!
The strength that chaos can have is given only by the reactions we have to it. The turkey slides off the serving tray onto the ground right before it’s time to eat. Chaos ensues! We can either crumble to the ground in utter defeat, allowing the tears of shattered dreams to wash all our intentions away, or, we can realize that our plan to serve may be altered, but the fact that our family and friends are there to share with us is so much bigger. Chaos might trip, but it can never replace. You may have lost something or someone, but chaos can never remove the memories and moments that mean so much more. We are supposed to give thanks during thanksgiving, no matter what chaos has done in the past or even the present. It’s when we lose sight of the precious, the true reality of what we have, that’s when chaos has truly won.
Don’t let the knowledge of impending chaos be the ruin in your heart. Our time is measured, and there are so many more important things to be thankful for.